Briefly at Tabqa.
American troops landed on the southern Bank of the Euphrates to the West of the Tabqa once introduced 2 major changes in the configuration of the war in Northern Syria.
On the one hand, the Americans cut a path for the SAA to Raqqa along the Euphrates, the fall of Deir-Hafer, in principle, came on the agenda. Now such an attack loses the original meaning, because sooner or later it will hit the American base which the Americans show that are not interested in, to share the laurels of the conqueror of Raqqa with Russia or Turkey.On the other hand, the establishment of this bridgehead violates the logistics of a Caliphate in areas to the West of the Tabqa than the SAA could benefit from expanding their control zone to the East of Aleppo and in the Western province of Raqqa.
Of course, the SAA could, with the support of Russia and Iran to go to Raqqa, and mount the missile in the area Itree and stepping through the intersection to the East of it and turning next to Tabqa. But given the current problems in Hama, fighting near Damascus, Palmyra, in the Eastern Qalamoun, it is unlikely that the Syrians would go on a similar adventure with open flanks, which may be political, but hardly has a military rationale, especially because the US operation is developing quite successfully and they will take the key point much earlier than the Syrians.
Russian General staff, quite melancholicly commented on the statements of the French of the imminent capture of Raqqa, saying that it is nevertheless necessary to relate the statements with reality, indirectly pointing to the ongoing months-long assault on Mosul, which according to initial plans had to be taken in 2016. Russia usually offers itself as partner for operations against Raqqa, USA generally, these proposals ignore, as well, and similar proposals Erdogan. The Pentagon suggests that using the Kurds as cheap infantry, he increased its capability in the area of Raqqa to several thousand people and with the active support of UAV and aircraft, will be able to take Raqqa sample Manjib, where they could dispense with a large amount of heavy equipment to cope for 2-3 months. With Raqqa of course will be more difficult, but the plan does not look unrealistic.
The strategic environment for the Caliphate in the area of Raqqa continues to worsen.
At this stage, the US strategy is, in General, SDF troops/YPG pushed back the Caliphate to the Northern Bank of the Euphrates, the capital of the Caliphate is already half-encircled. The operation to create a bridgehead on the southern Bank of the Euphrates, made it possible to start immediate operation against Tabqa. The power of the Caliphate now stretched on multiple fronts and quickly put together a grouping for a counter-attack on the bridgehead, it was unlikely, at that time, as the bridgehead expanded and strengthened, it is not that difficult, given the full air superiority of American aircraft and use in a large number of special forces. Moreover, it is possible and other amphibious operation to establish bridgeheads on the southern Bank of the Euphrates already to the East of Raqqa (including themselves Kurds) – the Caliphate here just doesn’t have enough strength to hold such a wide front – as a maximum, they will be able to organize several counter-attacks whose effectiveness in the current operating environment is questionable.
The operation in the area of Tabqa is an important stage in the preparation of the assault on Raqqa, which theoretically could begin as early as April, although it is possible that the case will be postponed until may, when it will have accumulated enough power for many months of the campaign to assault the city itself. By the evening of 25 March began to receive reports that DAESH militants have left the airbase Tabqa and departed.
Cleaning Tabqa, near the dam and the city of al-Brand, the Americans with the Kurds will solve the important task of providing conditions for an independent assault on Raqqa.
Local American failure with his first assault on the Tabqa dam, was only a nuisance that is easily overcome. A few dead Kurds and wounded the commandos, it’s certainly unpleasant, but not critical. The Kurds have already established themselves on the dam, and happily demonstrate to her numerous photographs. The Americans gradually moved to the side of the bridgehead to the West. Their main target is the airbase Tabqa. Taking the Tabqa airbase and that they will be able to build a military base here to the airfield, which will play an important part in subsequent operations against Raqqa but at the same time cut off from Raqqa the Syrian army (as Manbij cuts off Erdogan from Raqqa), if she decided to indulge in a race to Raqqa. Overall, the American plan is working. In the form in which are developing operations in Syria in General allow US more or less confident about the future, as under Obama the situation was such that the United States risked being left behind the Syrian war.But now, they have good cards they will play, when it comes to negotiations on the Syrian settlement. For the Kurds these successes is important because it strengthen their position in bargaining with Assad on the post-war national-territorial device of Syria, where the Kurds seek at this stage to broad autonomy, since the Turkish invasion prevented the implementation of more ambitious plans.